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Eastern approach

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Feature archways, a wealth of natural stone, and a symmetrical design give this bathroom a distinctive Middle Eastern flavour

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Not all bathrooms are designed as monuments to practicality. A good designer works first to realise their own or a client's vision – a solid industry knowledge then brings ergonomic issues into line with the aesthetic overview.

Royston Wilson Design created this bathroom ensuite as part of an up-market townhouse development. Well-travelled, Wilson drew on his visits to north Africa and Spain to create a space that would provide a strong visual presence for a bedroom area otherwise lacking in views.

"Moorish-style archways, natural stone and a strict sense of symmetry were all important to the design," says Wilson. "A play between light and dark tones also contributed to the bathroom's look."

Standing in the centre of the room, all three arches are in visual balance. Created in black granite, the arches also provide a tonal balance with the greater areas of honed marble.

"The restrained use of black granite means this doesn't overshadow the design and make the space seem smaller," says Wilson. "At the same time, the tendency for black to leap forward visually provided a sense of depth for the two blind archways. In reality, these are only 60mm proud of the wall but have the appearance of deeper alcoves."

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The bathroom is roomy in size, which Wilson's design accentuates.

"Floating vanities and a free-standing bath both add to the sense of space as you can literally see more floor," the designer says. "Mirrors above the vanities also float – they are set on a board backing that is edged in black, rendering the backing almost invisible."

Looking in from the bedroom, the space has a shrine-like quality.

"The entry is unframed on the bedroom side," says Wilson. "The profile offers intrigue, without dominating the space."

First published date: 28 June 2005

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Credit List

Bathroom designer Royston Wilson, Royston Wilson Design, HIA, BDAV, Colour Society of Australia, DIA
Building designer Kevin Starling
Main contractor Maison A La Mode
Vanity cabinetry Solid Jarra top with European Beech cabinet, from JM Cord
Shower fittings Idris slide rail shower rose
Shower stall Walk-in style
Bath Kaldewai Centroform Contemporary Classic with surround
Basins Inset, semi-recessed white Caroma Leda Vasque
Taps Caroma Liano basin mixers
Hot water systems Edwards Electric storage unit
Floor tiles Marble pacific cream brown antiqued and honed from Australian Marble Supplier
Wall tiles Marble pacific cream brown polished, with blue and brown inlay from Australian Marble Supplier
Toilet Caroma leda in white, with concealed inlet and seat
Lighting General Neilsen low-voltage mushroom downlights;
Vanity Focus Halogen
Ventilation Clipsal in-line fan
Accessories Lamps and pots from Terracotta Etc; towel rails, toilet brush, toilet roll holder, and glass shelf from Nuance